The school budget passed, 2840 to 1654, on a revote held June 20. The budget that passed was $1,133,808 less than the budget presented on May 16, which was defeated 4120 to 3954.
The reduction was the result of eliminating new portables at Weber, late busing for grades 7-12, purchases of new maintenance vehicles, equipment and by reducing conference, travel and summer workshops for staff. Additionally, staff was eliminated, which included one position at the elementary level, two positions at the secondary level and reduced clerical, custodial and para-professional support staff.
The tax increase for the revised budget is 2.6 percent down from e original 4.6 increase in the first budget.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Al Inserra commented, "I am thankful that we have a 2000-2001 operating budget, and that we were able to salvage the summer programs. However, I remain concerned that space problems have reached a critical proportion, particularly in Weber Middle School. The new board of education will be seated on July 5, and they are well aware that their highest priority is to structure a new long-term plan, with broad-based support, which is educationally sound."
All of the current board members were asked to comment. Those who chose to do so offered the following statements:
Alan Baer: " We took too many essentials out of the budget. Only the children will be paying the price."
Dean Nardone: "I'm glad to see the board listened to the majority by reducing the budget, and then supported it in such an overwhelming way."
Richard Sussman: "The vote shows that the residents of Port Washington do not automatically vote no as some have suggested. I'm pleased the residents have taken the time to understand what's in the budget and have made a wise choice to support the high quality of education."
Sandy Ehrlich" I'm pleased that it passed. I hope it will get the new school year started off on the right foot."
School Board President Dr. Roy Nelson: "I'm happy the budget passed. The district will try to do its best for the students despite the reduced amount of funds."
Jon Zimmerman: "I am very pleased that the school district and the board of education have been more responsive to the voices of the community. Thankfully with some fairly substantial cuts in the budget, the town has approved the revised budget. Hopefully, going forward ,the board of education will be more sensitive to the needs and expectations of the entire community as we try to solve some very substantial issues over the next few months. I ask everyone to please join the process and help us develop a path which will support the continued excellence of our school district, while balancing the needs of all of our many stakeholders."